Happy Yorkshire Day!

I’ve got lots of readers with Yorkshire connections.  With addresses in Australia, southern France, London, Northumbria, Spain and East Sussex, among other places, I bet not one of them has celebrated Yorkshire Day.

Apparently it all began on August 1st 1975, in Beverley, as a protest movement against the local government re-organisation of 1974′

Who knew?  Not me.  Not anyone I know.  We all bumbled through life in the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and though the early years of the twenty first century, blissfully unaware until about five years ago that we were supposed to be partying for Yorkshire.

Two Ripon shops take Yorkshire Day seriously.

Now Yorkshire cities take it in turn to host Yorkshire Day, and this year it is Ripon’s turn.  This meant a fairground in the Market Square, a procession with a band and civic dignitaries, a service in the cathedral, picnicking in the Park, and all manner of stalls in the town centre, mainly celebrating Yorkshire charities and institutions.

Such as The National Trust’s stall celebrating Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal.  I was there.  I was one of a small team encouraging mainly families to have fun.  A few punters dressed up as monks from the Abbey, or as fine Georgian ladies who might have enjoyed the Studley Royal Water Gardens.  Most children – boys and girls – got enthusiastic about using the kind of wool which was produced in abundance at Fountains Abbey to get stuck into simple weaving.  They chose their colours with care, threaded their shuttles, and wove, wove, wove.  They ended up with nothing more elaborate than a bookmark, but goodness, they treasured them, and handed them carefully to mums, grandads – anyone who would put them safely away till they arrived home.

And we all ate Wilfra Cakes.  That’s a sort of apple pie cooked with Wensleydale cheese, and a long-forgotten Ripon delicacy, produced thanks to the Workhouse Museum.

If we go back this evening, there are bands playing, and a big firework display.  Well, any excuse for a party in God’s Own Country.  Why not?

The Market Square at midday.

33 thoughts on “Happy Yorkshire Day!”

  1. How I would love to be there!!
    We had ‘wattle day’ yesterday ( and horses birthday). Love the idea of weaving – we teach Year 7 to knit and make blankets for the charity ‘wrap with love ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My husband was born in Beverley (but moved away ~age 3) — an honorary Yorkshireman! I did my MA at Leeds and we have good friends in York, so it’s a special place we try to visit often. A trip to Bettys is a must each time.

    Like

  3. All looks very jolly and well attended. Think it is a good idea to have a different host town each year as here Suffolk Day on June 21st was spread rather too thinly for many to notice!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs! I’d never heard of Wilfra Cakes before (and my mum was a Yorkshirewoman) but I looked them up and they sound delicious. Might have a go at those some time, thanks. Lx

    Liked by 1 person

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